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Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Morning Check In: 15 Times When Failure Is Not a Bad Thing

We have been raised in a society that talks about failure as if it is a bad thing. I gave that idea some more reflection this week, and I came to a different conclusion. I think that sometimes failure is not a bad thing under certain conditions.

Here is a my list of fifteen times when I believe that failure is not a bad thing:
  1. When we keep trying
  2. When we learn from the failure
  3. When the failure reveals something about ourselves that we did not know before
  4. When we learn something about someone else that we did not know before
  5. When the failure stretches us to do more than we thought we were capable
  6. When the failure shows us what we really want or care about
  7. When the failure shows us what we should pay attention to
  8. When the failure shows us a weakness
  9. When the failure shows us that we might want to rethink things
  10. When we learn that we need more preparation
  11. When we learn that we need to ask for help
  12. When the failure shows us how to be more teachable
  13. When we become stronger
  14. When we use the failure to teach others
  15. When the failure reveals the extent of our limits and where we can improve
We shy away from failure or anything that might possibly end in failure. Instead I believe that we should embrace failure and teach our children to be good acquaintances with it. Failure can teach us many things about ourselves and our approach to learning and life if we allow failure a place in our lives. Instead of being afraid of failure, I think we should learn to be comfortable with it. We should permit ourselves to try new things that might admit the possibility of failure so that we can learn from it and become strong individuals.

No one enjoys failing at something we want to accomplish, but I believe that success is often just a long road that is bumpy with many failures along the way. It is how we choose to navigate the bumpy spots as we travel that will enrich or distract our lives.

Spend some time this week reflecting on your approach to the subject of failure. Are you open to the possibilities of what failure might teach you, or do you avoid anything that might prove unsuccessful? Does the possibility of failure keep you from attempting new things or working to accomplish a cherished life goal? How can you do things differently?

Happy failing this week!


  1. Thank you for these words of wisdom! They are good reminders for all of us, musicians and non-musicians.

    1. Thanks, barbiemama. It is so easy to forget that every setback is an opportunity to learn something. I have to remind myself about this often. Thanks for visiting and commenting!